Friends and family say teens in Mableton beating death are ‘not a gang’
by Lindsay Field
August 01, 2013 12:25 AM | 14688 views | 24 24 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
36 year-old Joshua Chellew was the victim of a violent attack on Mableton Parkway on Sunday, June 30. Chellew was allegedly beaten and pushed into traffic by four alleged gang members.
36 year-old Joshua Chellew was the victim of a violent attack on Mableton Parkway on Sunday, June 30. Chellew was allegedly beaten and pushed into traffic by four alleged gang members.
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MARIETTA — Friends and family of the teens accused in the beating death of Joshua Chellew of Mableton dispute police claims that the four young men were in a gang.

They further testified Wednesday that at least three of the teens had no part in the 36-year-old Mableton man’s death.

The testimonies came forth at an initial hearing for three of the four south Cobb teenagers in a case that has sparked nationwide attention among conservative bloggers and talk-show hosts who believe Chellew was the victim of a black on white hate crime.

At Wednesday’s hearing, however, the issue of race never came up.

Mableton residents Johnathan Donald Anthony, 18, Antonio Shantwan Pass, 18, and Kemonta Deandre Bonds, 18, and Jekari Oshay Strozier, 19, of Austell, all face charges of aggravated assault and felony street-gang activity related to the death of Chellew on June 30.

They are accused of starting a fight with Chellew in the Chevron station parking lot at 6211 Mableton Pkwy. in Mableton around 1:20 a.m. And while Chellew was attempting to escape, he ran into the five-lane highway, was pushed to the ground, knocked unconscious and hit by a car.

All four suspects have remained in the Cobb County jail without bonds since July 2, and after a collective hearing before Cobb County Magistrate Court Judge Philip Taylor Wednesday morning, that’s where Anthony, Pass and Bonds will remain.

Their attorneys elected not to pursue a bond at this time.

Strozier’s hearing was continued from Tuesday to an unknown date until he can be assigned an attorney.

Friend defends teens’ character

Jemilah Joseph, a friend of the three teens in court Wednesday, was one of about 15 people who attended the hearing, and she doesn’t think the allegations being brought against the young men are valid.

“I couldn’t see any of them getting into a fight,” Joseph said. “They don’t have any physical evidence that the three boys hit (Chellew). It’s not in their character to try and kill somebody.”

She believes Strozier, who investigators witnessed on surveillance video outside the gas station hitting Chellew, started the fight.

“I just feel like they were with him and it was the wrong time, wrong place type of thing,” Joseph said. “They are wanting to convict them as the ones fighting when they were trying to stop the fight.”

Joseph was also surprised to hear that the state alleges that the teenagers are part of a gang that calls itself “Re-Up.”

“They are not a gang,” she said. “They are just a group of boys that rap together and I feel like (the state) just called them a gang because they were all together.”

She said there is evidence of Re-Up being in a rap group on YouTube and in other social media websites.

State sticking to allegations

But the state does not agree.

Detective Matt Owen with Cobb Police, who testified during the hearing, said the gang-related charges were being brought forth because the young men had all been previously arrested in connection with what they refer to as gang-related acts outlined by the county’s gang unit.

He said they all admitted to being members of the Re-Up group and that social media websites like Twitter had photos of the boys associated with the group.

Owen explained in detail what evidence and information his department has been able to collect since Chellew was found dead last month, including clothing that police believe could be Chellew’s. Processing of the items has not been completed.

He also said they used witness testimony and surveillance video from inside and outside of the gas station to determine that Chellew, who was reportedly intoxicated, went inside the store and when he exited began waving a blue bandanna in the air and making references to the gang known as the “Crips.”

One witness who testified during the hearing, Nigel Clarke, admitted to walking up to Chellew and taking the bandanna out of his hand, but then he turned and walked away.

Video surveillance then showed Strozier approaching Chellew and throwing the first punch.

Owen said there was no evidence of Anthony, Bonds or Pass fighting Chellew on the video, but a witness told police that they were fighting the 36-year-old and chased him into the highway before attacking him again.

There was no surveillance footage of what happened outside a certain perimeter of the gas station, specifically in the highway.

Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Jesse Evans is prosecuting the case for the state.

State’s evidence, testimonies questioned

Attorneys for the three defendants, who sat directly behind the teens in the courtroom, argued that there wasn’t sufficient evidence showing that their clients were part of a gang or involved in the fight.

Marietta attorney Sidney Storesund, who represents Anthony, asked Owen what in the surveillance video indicated that the teens were attacking Chellew and not trying to keep Strozier from hitting him.

“I did not see anybody on the video trying to stop Mr. Strozier or pull him off of anybody,” Owen replied.

Marietta attorney Tom Griner, who represents Bonds, also asked a few question but it was Pass’s attorney Nathaniel Dobson who challenged several pieces of evidence in the investigation and asked in closing for all charges against his client to be dismissed.

Dobson questioned the witnesses’ testimonies of which teen hit Chellew in the highway saying it would have been too dark for them to decipher. He also implied that Chellew could have instigated the fight — “unfortunately for everyone involved” — because he was drunk, and that there isn’t sufficient evidence to show that the teens are in a gang.

“These young men just happen to be together that night and none of them consider themselves a gang,” Dobson said. “That is pure speculation on (the state’s) part.”

He also argued that the time frame of 45 seconds, which was given by one witness as to how long it took from start to finish for the incident to occur, didn’t allow enough time for all four teens to get into a deadly fight with Chellew.

“It’d be physically impossible for all of them as the state’s witness indicated to ‘take turns’ punching and hitting the gentleman while he was in the road,” Dobson said.

Aside from Owen, attorneys also briefly questioned Clarke, who told defense attorneys that he never saw anyone, including Strozier, ever hit Chellew, but that was because he walked away from the incident after grabbing the victim’s bandanna, and that the incident lasted less than a minute.

Comments
(24)
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I know them
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August 14, 2013
These guys are a gang the girl Jemelia Joseph is one of the gang members girlfriend she is lying to get them free. These guys go around junping random people its called "free picking" they picked out that random white man and beat him up and he ran in the street and died they are murders. The boy Antonio is the leader of the gang
WTJAMES06
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August 06, 2013
this could have very well been gz fate....fine perfect example of why people shouldnt be able to put there hands on you..and im sure all the blacks will see a way to justify this just as they did oj..yet they rallied for travon all across the globe...a black man runs this country now...has for years...time to just call a spade a spade people...put too many blacks together at any event of any location and theres trouble...it has always been this way and always will be..blame it on whatever u like but black people commit more crime than the other races combined...get mad about it..cuss me out but the facts are the facts people
anonymous
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August 02, 2013
The "old school" was/is not wrong. Nobody has any business being out at 1:00 a.m. on a Sunday night unless you are coming to or from work or on an emergency. Drunk drivers, thugs, and no-goods are out at that time. Stay home; lock your doors; and enjoy a peaceful and together time with your family. If all five of these people were at home where all five of them should have been at that time of night, we wouldn't be reading about this.
well also
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August 06, 2013
If you weren't sitting at home getting angry about all the reasons you tell yourself are the reasons why you sit at home, you wouldn't be reading this.

There are so many outraged comments here on the "drunk white guy runs into the street and gets himself run over after harassing some black kids" story but there are zero outraged comments on the "white kids in Mableton kill their grandpa just for fun" story..

Just use different lens and crime is not a problem anymore!
anonymous
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August 06, 2013
So let's put the blame on the deceased that others killed him. great logic for a libtard.
Southern Patriot
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August 02, 2013
After sixty years of government mandated integration it's time to admit it was a failure, it's the elephant in the room that everyone is afraid to acknowledge.
Really!?!?
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August 02, 2013
Wow!! That's probably the stupidest thing I think I've read on here!!! Think before you write!
Sean D
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August 07, 2013
So what are you saying??? You hate elephants?
Look it up. Idiots
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August 01, 2013
GANG:villnnta acts

noun

1. a group or band: A gang of boys gathered around the winning pitcher.

2. a group of youngsters or adolescents who associate closely, often exclusively, for social reasons, especially such a group engaging in delinquent behavior.

3. a group of people with compatible tastes or mutual interests who gather together for social reasons: I'm throwing a party for the gang I bowl with.

4. a group of persons working together; squad; shift: a gang of laborers.

5. a group of persons associated for some criminal or other antisocial purpose: a gang of thieves.
tired of it
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August 01, 2013
How come the family is always the last to know when a family member is in a gang, or atleast the last one to admit it.
Oh please!
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August 01, 2013
There were witnesses. If a drunk man says something to someone,it's okay to hit them

and beat them to death? He was running away from them, so if they weren't beating him, why was he running? Who watches a car hit someone and walks away? These kids are scum who need to be taken off the streets. It seems to me instead of holding rallies to complain about Trayvon Martin, the black community should teach their children that it is NOT okay to punch people for no reason! Trayvon Martin would be alive to day had he just called his dad and stopped to answer questions from an adult asking him what he was doing! Get your kids in order!
pissed off white man
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August 01, 2013
why have they all not been charged with murder like any other American citizen that attacks another and causes a death. simply put go on about your way stay free or stay in prison were you belong no excuses. pissed off and well armed
maidenga
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August 01, 2013
they should have ALL been home in bed.
Stuipidity
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August 01, 2013
WAKE UP!!! No matter how you look it they costed the man his life. It was no self defense or anything even close. They simply picked him out and went to beat on him becuase the little posers have no respect and should have wooped growing up.
Just Wait
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August 01, 2013
Really? Just what did you expect these thugs friends to say? Might as well interview their Grandmothers and Auntees too. I'm sure they will agree they are "rising" students "that close" to turning their lives around.
IceDogg
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August 01, 2013
"At Wednesday’s hearing, however, the issue of race never came up."

Why?

Because you know as well as I do that it WAS race related - and if the roles were reversed, the protests would already be underway.
dustoff
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August 01, 2013
It always amazes me that every punk wanna be thug who gets caught has friends and family that show up touting what a good person they are, fine outstanding pillars of the community and all that other crap.
Gringo Bandito
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August 01, 2013
Of course not. They good boys who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's the same sob story we hear every time a young black thug is arrested.
got this right?
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August 01, 2013
So a drunken white guy is at a gas station. First question, did he drive there. He flashes gang signs and a red bandana at whatever random african american gentlemen are present. In less than 45 seconds, drunken white guy runs into the street and gets run over by a car. And we charge the guys who were harassed by drunk guy before he ran into the street? Brilliant!

"Golly let's make political points by turning this into a reverse Trayvon, no matter the facts of this case or the Trayvon case."
PammyS
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August 02, 2013
No he didnt drive there, someone was in the car with him, and it was a blue bandana, so what. Yes white guy runs into the street because he is being chased by the 4 black males, beating him up and if it was only 1 person doing the beating why wasnt the other 3 stopping it?? then the man gets hit by a car and then what do the black males do?? they just leave...and if the black males claim they were being harassed by the white guy then all they had to do was walk away and leave the store where they were hanging out at 1 am in the morning instead of being home.
someone in the car?
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August 06, 2013
Alcoholic white guy had someone in the car with him, huh. So howdy doody, maybe they are a gang too just like the black guys "are a gang."

That someone in the car is the person responsible for drunk white guy's death since he was enabling alcoholic white guy to travel all about town.

Charge the person(s) in alcoholic white guy's car/gang with his death.

If he was so drunk, and they were driving (completely sober, right? riiiiight), then he was in their custody/care but they let him harrass and fight with strangers and then get himself run over.

Charge the alcohlic enablers with the alcoholic's death! Otherwise you could be next.. assuming of course

- that you go to gas stations sometimes

- that our judicial system views you as an easy target
FROM TEXAS
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August 01, 2013
Just your run of the mill racist blacks is that it if this was a black guy that was slaughtered in the streets and run over Al and Jesse super racist would be all over that. Eric Racist Holder would be down here screaming racist. Where the parade and t-shirts for this white guy you can walk through a white neighborhood but white can’t walk through your hood if you do you’d better have a 45 facts are facts and people are sick of it. If you all keep killing all the whites who’s going to pay taxes to support your lifestyle?
WHATS NEXT
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August 18, 2013
WOW! My heart goes out for this man family. That shouldn't have happened to him.
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